Cairo to create single regulator

17 July 2008
Egypt will announce plans to create a single regulator for all financial services companies except banks in the final quarter of the year.

The Investment Ministry wants to consolidate the five different financial services regulators it controls into a single body.

The new body will regulate insurance, mortgages, capital markets, listed companies and leasing firms. It will take over the regu-latory powers of the Egyptian Insurance Supervisory Authority, the Mortgage Finance Authority, the Capital Markets Authority,
the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges and the General Authority for Investment & Free Zones (Gafi), which oversees
leasing firms.

“The single regulator entails other non-banking financial activities that are not Gafi’s responsibility,” says Neveen el-Shafei, vice-chairman of Gafi.

The Investment Ministry declined to comment on its plans for a new regulator. However, according to government sources, Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin is expected to make a statement on the new regulator and the consolidation of the five different regulators in the autumn.

The Central Bank of Egypt will continue to regulate the banking sector. Egypt is the latest of several countries in the region to overhaul its regulation of financial services.

Qatar is planning to consolidate its three existing financial regulators into a single entity, and the Central Bank of Bahrain has spent a number of years reviewing and consolidating its regulation of financial services companies.

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